- Thoughts for inspired living

Are You Playing A Game Of Skill Or Chance? - Grasshopper

Odds are, you may have your eggs in the basket where they'll easily crack.

Many of us think we are rather skilled playing games of chance. I should offer this reminder: There is sound reason why the term "Professional Gambler" is an oxymoron.
Solitaire is a game of chance. The major risk you take in going it alone is that you miss out on what other people have to offer. They increase your odds of getting what you want. Yet, many pursue the long odds of doing it by themselves. Long term, it's a losing strategy.
Team sports are games of skill. You can still lose but your chances for success increase when it all doesn't depend on you.
Most teams that aren't successful are made up of too many people playing their own game at the expense of others. The stark reality they miss is that they lose too.
I loved watching Charles Barkley play basketball. He was a very skilled player who too often played his own game. He never won a championship. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were team players. Between them, they have more championship jewelry than Imelda Marcos has shoes.
When Barkley was guarding his opponent and the player scored on him and made him look bad, Charles would get the ball out of bounds, put his head down and pound the ball in frustration before tossing it in to a teammate to resume the game.
When Larry Bird got scored on, he took the ball out of bounds and immediately flipped it to a teammate racing down the court often catching the other team on their heels, making for an easy score.
This self absorbed, repeated action by Barkley took a game of skill and made it more chancy.
Going it alone is a lonely path. Making room for others not only increases your chances for success, but it also brings out the best in you.
Your best alone is eclipsed by the best you can achieve with others. It takes some stretching.
People who go it alone are not very trustful of others. They may have good reason for that lack of trust - a personal history filled with people letting them down. The only way to end the downward spiral is to trust again.
For example, if you invested in something and lost a lot of money, the reality is you'll need to invest again if you want whatever money you have left to grow, rather than do nothing and watch it dwindle down to nothing.
The same is true of investing yourself in others.
Most worthwhile things in life come from other people. It's hard to imagine that someone on their deathbed would want to be surrounded by anything other than people. Yet, that's how many live their entire lives - isolated.
Every day offers another chance to reach out. I'm reminded of my mentor, Dave Dobson's words, "The ripe fruit is out on the skinny branches."
It may be safe where you are, but if you stay there, you've resigned yourself to a diet of sour apples. You can win at Solitaire but not that often. The return on investment is not there.
The game of skill involves other people. Other people are your resource and your respite.
If you're tired of losing at Solitaire, it's time to branch out and find your people skills.
All the best,

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